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Miami-Illinois Pronunciation and Spelling Guide (Illini)

Welcome to our Miami-Illinois alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Miami-Illinois orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites. You may also like to visit our Algonkian homepage to see how Miami-Illinois relates to other languages from the Algonkian family.

Miami-Illinois Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Miami-Illinois pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
aa  a, â  a Like the a in father, only held longer.
e    e Like the a in gate.
ee  e, ê  e Like the a in gate, only held longer.
i    i Like the ee in peek.
ii  i, î  i Like the ee in peek, only held longer.
o   o Like the o in note.
oo  o, ô, 8 o Like the o in note, only held longer.

Miami-Illinois Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Miami-Illinois pronunciation:
c  ch, č, tch, tj  t Like ch in chair.
h    h Like h in English hay.
k  g, c  k Like the soft k in skate.
m    m Like m in English moon.
n    n Like n in English night.
p  b  p Like the soft p in spill.
s  th  s ~ θ Like s in sing. Some Miami speakers pronounced this sound like the th in thing instead.
sh  š, ch   Like sh in shy.
t  d  t Like the soft t in star.
w  8 w Like w in English way.
y  ï  j Like y in English yes.

Miami-Illinois Stress

Miami-Illinois has less pronounced word stress than English does. In English, unstressed vowels are often reduced to schwas, which makes the stress sound very strong. (An example of this is the word "rebel." When "rebel" is a noun, the stress is on the first syllable and the word is pronounced REH-bəl. When "rebel" is a verb, the stress is on the second syllable and the word is pronounced rə-BELL.)

But in Miami-Illinois pronunciation, all vowels are spoken normally regardless of stress. If you reduce an unstressed vowel to a schwa the way you would in English, you could sound like you are saying a completely different word, so be careful not to do this!

Illinois-Miami Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Illinois-Miami words
   Illinois animals
   Miami body parts
   Miami-Illinois colors
   Illinois numbers
   Miami-Illinois alphabet and phonology
   Miami alphabet
   Algonquian languages
   Northeast Woodlands
   Native Americans of Illinois
   Illinois legends



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